Neuronal trafficking in physiology and neurodegenerative diseases:
Due to their complex geometry and finite sites of bulk protein synthesis (cell-bodies), neurons have evolved elaborate transport and trafficking machinery to deliver proteins into axons and dendrites. How are proteins synthesized in microscopic cell-bodies delivered to their distant sites, and then retained there with precision (for example at the synaptic terminals)? Knowledge into the biology of this process is critical for determining neuronal form and function. Understanding trafficking pathways is often vital to understanding disease pathways as well. For instance, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are typified by abnormalities in normal trafficking pathways (the amyloid trafficking pathway, alpha-synuclein trafficking at the synapse, etc.). Normal and abnormal trafficking are intertwined, and we cannot understand one, without knowing the other.
A general approach in the lab is to develop cellular models of normal and abnormal biological processes – using whatever tool is necessary for the understanding the question at hand (see http://www.roylab.org/publications.html for list of publications). Current projects include novel uses of CRISPR-Cas9 technology in cellular model-systems of neurodegenerative diseases – particularly Alzheimer’s disease; development and application of new tools (including super-resolution microscopy and optogenetics) to explore a mysterious phenomenon called slow axonal transport, and intricacies of the neuronal cytoskeleton (particularly actin); and use of stem cells to explore human cell biology. A guiding philosophy in the lab is to use whatever tools are needed to explore the question at hand, and whenever necessary, build new ones.
The lab has ongoing collaborations with researchers around the world, and also at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), the Waisman Center, the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Center, as well as several other investigators at UW-Madison; and is located on state of the art laboratory and office space overlooking lake Mendota (within the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research or WIMR-II tower: WIMR-II-science-without-walls).
Jan 2018: Sanjay Premi from Yale joins the lab. Welcome Sanjay!
Dec 2017: New work from lab presented at Columbia and Northwestern (Subhojit invited by Puneet Opal)
Dec 2017: Roy lab goes to ASCB. Pankaj presents poster of actin trails!
Nov 2017: Work from lab presented at i3S institute, Porto, Portugal. Subhojit invited by Monica Souza (link to Monica's lab)
Nov 2017: New actin data presented at the EMBO cytoskeleton workshop, Pune (Subhojit): http://meetings.embo.org/event/17-cytoskeleton
Oct 2017: Subhojit talks at the Chicago Cytoskeleton meeting: https://chicagocytoskeleton.net
Oct 2017: Subhojit gives talks at UIC, Stanford and Genentech
Sept 2017: JC gets a postdoctoral fellowship from Alzheimer's association!
Sept 2017: Review with Pankaj and Christophe accepted in Nature Reviews in Neuroscience
June 2017: New paper on slow axonal transport in JCB.
May 2017: MSTP student Sue joins us for a rotation.
May 2017: Christophe comes to visit Madison. See pic
April 2017: A UW 20/20 grant from WARF for the Roy lab.
April 2017: New paper on slow axonal transport accepted in JCB.
April 2017: SR talks at neuronal cytoskeleton meeting in Chile. Co-organizing in 2019!
March 2017: Subhojit talks at Cell Biology study group, invited by Bill Bement. Check out Bill's email to group: "First ever Three-Roy Three-Way"
Feb 2017: Subhojit talks at UPenn, invited by Sandra Maday
Sept 2016: SR gives talk at Van Andel symposium "Grand Challenges in Parkinson's disease"
Feb 2017: Kent joins lab as a new PhD student. He is in the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology program.
Dec 2016: Work in the Roy lab featured in PNAS
Oct 2016: Jichao and Pankaj join the lab.